It’s A Sign

This is quite possibly the creepiest thing you’ll ever see …

Uh, no, not me! Although it’s admittedly a close run thing. But does this not sound like the plot opening to a Stephen King novel? I mean, this has never happened to me in my entire life before. And aside from making me a little nervous and worrying about monsters under the bed [which haven’t really bothered me since my early 30’s], I’m just hugely relieved I didn’t use any metaphors or analogies involving car crashes or pianos falling out of high rise buildings when I was hatless!

 

 

On the plus side, since posting this to my Instagram feed this morning, I’ve already been approached for film rights and understand Hugh Jackman has committed himself to playing me.

Bullish China Shop Owner Considers Switch To Fruit And Veg Stall

The Pondering

This morning I was asked by my friend Michael [@elnon66 on Instagram] what I felt the pros and cons were behind the major EU Referendum vote today. So, I answered as honestly, and humourlessly [not easy!], as I felt I could. But I couldn’t entirely forget Cristiano Ronaldo …

That’s a potentially long answer, Michael. So, for me, I’ll keep it simplistically nutshelled.

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The Ponderers

The Leave campaign have offered absolutely nothing beyond vague jingoism, goblets of fear and scattergun facts. The Remain campaign have offered very little beyond vague stronger together platitudes, goblets of fear and scattergun facts. The facts, such as they are, have been all but lost, blurred and twisted to have become largely meaningless.

However, I will say this, I have a strong sense that if the climate of the irrational fear of immigration – and in extremis, pure xenophobia leeching into racism – were to be taken out of the equation, I honestly believe the vote wouldn’t be even remotely close. And this is one of the reasons I’ve grown cynical of the politics; the fear. Fundamentally, it makes for poor reasoning and therefore equally poor decisions.

I will be voting Remain for the simple reason that I refuse to be kowtowed by those irrational politics of fear; and because I genuinely feel that the future for all of us – not just Europe – will ultimately be best served by collaboration, compromise and a shared sense of unified purpose.

And on a lighter note, I can’t resist but leave you with the petulant man-child that is Cristiano Ronaldo’s dance following Hungary’s third goal against Portugal yesterday:

 

 

Uh, Cristiano … {Wags finger then points to scattered things } … now pick up your toys and put them back in your box, there’s a good lad.

Who put the dumb in Referendum?

The shit storm approacheth. No, not the Glastonbury Festival – although that’s shaping up to be equally and traditionally messy; they can’t even get the cars in the car parks because of the mud this morning [I blame immigration]! – but the EU Referendum.

 

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Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage yesterday

Frankly, I’ll be glad when it’s all over, but I still subjected myself to some of the last vast televised EU Debate in the cavernous Wembley Arena last night. Which, from the increasingly tiresome Leave campaign, appeared to largely consist of repeating the phrase Take back control, Take back control, Take back control… like some wearying, incontinent Dalek.

Well, here’s a sobering thought. Give control to Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage and if their absurdist rationale subsequently slips through the cracks we’ll all be left yelling Control Alt Delete! CTRL/ALT/DEL!! Too late, we’ve already crashed. And when we look to them, they’ll probably be squabbling over a mallet [dutifully inscribed: Independence Day], flailing around and whacking the keyboard.

 

I rarely inflict politics onto the regular readers of my blog – because I doubt either of you would appreciate it! But I have occasionally been leaking my thoughts into my Instagram feed during the past few weeks. If you think you can stomach any more of my thoughts, here’s a couple of things I wrote there a while ago:

The EU Referendum gets more and more absurd each day. With each dawning one or other will reveal some hysterical prediction and the other will immediately counter with absurd. It never ceases to amaze me, in politics, how the entirely opposite view is invariably taken and no one appears to agree on anything … aside from self-interest.

It’s become abundantly clear David Cameron didn’t call for a parliamentary debate on the EU as the divisions in his own party would’ve torn it apart and made him unelectable. It’s equally clear Boris Johnson is taking the entirely opposite view in order to give him an opportunity to be Prime Minister. Meanwhile, Alex Salmond, after proclaiming the recent Scottish Independence Referendum as a ‘Once in a lifetime opportunity’, is now hedging his bets on the Remain vote while crossing his fingers behind his back and readying himself for a Brexit to ask for another Independence vote.

Meanwhile, those that equally absurdly have to make such a big decision … us … are left mostly beyond confused but will leave a vast swathe of the ignorant voting on essentially one issue: How racist and/or fearful of immigration are you?

What a feckin’ absurd way to run a country!

And the inspiration behind my title:

Who put the dumb in referendum? Don’t let the facts get in the way of your prejudices; spit bile and piffle and watch them collide. Then arrange the firing squad into a circle; so-called experts, politicians and business leaders divide; ready, Remain, fire. But we’ll have 52 new hospitals by the end of the year if we Leave. What do you believe? We wouldn’t have one. So who put the dumb in referendum?

At the end of May, David Mitchell rather summed up my feelings perfectly in his excellent piece in The Observer. Essentially saying, I periodically elect my local representative to get their heads around the big decisions; not for them to simply sit back and say You Decide when it all gets a bit complicated or difficult to understand.

So, what are we left with? Some kind of hapless game of Pin the tail on the donkey. [And if you don’t know what that is, I feel for your empty childhood. But it’s essentially a British, considerably less violent form of, piñata.] But given the complete lack of agreement and joined-up thinking by our politicians, it’s probably no wonder they would rather eventually blame us for any future ills – whatever we decide. And it’s just so difficult deciding whether or not you want to wholly embrace racism, World War III, have less or more money, jobs and rights, financial stability or instability, all the while maintaining our position at the bottom of the Eurovision Song Contest. Where’s my mallet?

The Calendar : 2016 : Final Update

G’day folks. The final post and the final day of bidding for The Auction of my 2016 calendar of street photography with, as I write, approximately 36 hours of time remaining to make a bid…

 

The Calendar 2016 Jul-Dec
Images July-December

 

Note: You can see the images for January-June here.

Just a reminder that there will be just ONE of these objects circulating in the proverbial wild and will probably set to become one of the most collectible objects since a car made from cheese was bought by an obsessive cheese enthusiast. [Although, in a moment of weakness, I understand he subsequently ate his investment.]

I will be posting any relevant updates on the bidding process at the foot of this post and via Instagram, Flickr, F*c*book and Twitter. You can make bids in any location or via email and text and I will keep all locations up to date with the prevailing highest bid.

I propose to end bidding at 11:59pm GMT on 21st December and will ship the calendar with its heartfelt personal message the following day – hopefully this should ensure delivery by the New Year anywhere in the world.

 

Current Highest Bid: US $150

[Approx. conversion: Euros 138 and UKP 101]

[Bid by Christa in AmericaNote: If you’d rather not have your name publicly announced with any bid please let me know.]

The Calendar : 2016 : Update

Hey everyone, just a quick update on The Auction for my calendar. These are the first six months of images to be found on this highly desirable unbridled joyous “astonishingly excellent”* … uh, too much?

 

The Calendar 2016 Jan-Jun
Calendar Images : January-June

 

*  “Astonishingly excellent…” Yes, dear reader, not my words but the words of Donald Trump’s personal physician, Harold Bornstein. Admittedly, he was actually describing Donald Trump’s alleged physical health rather than, well, either his presidential campaign or my calendar, but I’m confident he would be equally eulogising. Meanwhile, Trump’s barber was said to have declined to comment.

Imagine being Donald Trump’s personal physician. I’ll, uh, just leave you with that thought for a moment …  …  … Okay! Okay, you can stop. It makes the prospect of, uh, unwrapping the calendar after it lands in your mailbox more appealing now, though, eh?!

The above images will furnish the eyes with pleasure between the months of January-June. You can read the full introduction to this auction idea by reading the accompanying blog/video here.

Current Highest Bid: 47 Euros

[Approx. conversion: US $52 and UKP 34]

[Bid by Valeria in Italy … Note: If you’d rather not have your name publicly announced with any bid please let me know.]